Braves add OF Peter Bourjos, utility player Ryan Flaherty
ATLANTA (AP) — The Braves bolstered their bench by agreeing to one-year deals with outfielder Peter Bourjos and utility player Ryan Flaherty, who were released by other teams late in spring training.
Under the contracts announced Monday, Bourjos will receive $1 million and Flaherty $750,000.
Both were added to the major league roster. The Braves begin the season Thursday at home against Philadelphia.
“They’re good acquisitions,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “They’re two pros, they’re big leaguers. They should serve really good roles here with our club.”
Bourjos played last season with Tampa Bay and hit .223 with five homers and 15 RBIs in 100 games. The 30-year-old was cut last week by the Chicago Cubs.
Flaherty played only 23 games last season with the Baltimore Orioles, missing nearly three months with a right shoulder strain. The 31-year-old saw action at every infield position except first base, as well as left and right field.
Flaherty was in camp with Philadelphia this spring before his release.
Snitker said it was important to bring on players who can help defensively, especially with a suspect pitching staff.
Bourjos cleanly handled all 122 of his chances in 2017, making him one of just five outfielders not to commit an error with at least 120 chances.
“It’s kind of where the game’s going,” Snitker said. “Flaherty is a really solid defensive player. Bourjos is a really above-average defensive outfielder. The 27 outs will be huge for us, and not giving them more. With those acquisitions, we’re going to be able to stick to that. With the pitching and where we’re at with that, we need to make all the plays.”
Bourjos will likely get the role as the fifth outfielder instead of non-roster invitee Danny Santana. Flaherty gives the Braves another position player for the early weeks of the season, when the team will likely use a four-man rotation and a 12-man pitching staff.
Once a fifth starter is needed, Atlanta is expected to carry 13 pitchers and 12 positions players.
For more AP baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball